Blogging and OneNote

OneNote is a great application developed by Microsoft which helps the user to easily take and organize notes. The tool offers a lot of customization and formatting options. Furthermore, the tool is now almost free. I say almost, because there are a couple of features which are not available, unless paid for.
However, I find those features not to be so important for most of us. Read more about the limitations of the free version.

I must confess that I was using OneNote on the company computer to take a few notes and I haven’t really poked around to see the apps full potential. It has many great features from file attachments, inserting spreadsheets or diagrams, support for scanning, cloud storage, content sharing and many, many more features I’m sure I haven’t yet discovered, but I do so intend to.
Did I mention it’s cross-platform? Even though there are some limitations on the Mac version, it’s still pretty cool.

Since I’m now taking notes of all the development books I’m reading, I thought it would be nice to keep a copy of the notes locally, nice formatted in a document, not just on the blog.

Who knows, maybe I’ll want to change the blogging platform in the future and I don’t want to be dependent on WordPress to export my own content. Also I wouldn’t want to reformat the content again. So the cloud storage (in OneDrive) OneNote offers was definitely a feature which attracted me to using this tool.

However, what does blogging have to do with OneNote? I was blown away of this feature which I learned was available for some time now, but I don’t know how many know about it and how many are actually using it.

So, you can actually write and format your blog post from OneNote and publish it to your blog. How cool is that? You’ll have to first configure your blog account. It supports out of the box integration with most popular blog platforms (WordPress included), but you can also add a custom blog provider, the only limitation here is that the provider needs to use the MetaWeblog API. I’m currently writing this post from OneNote.

This was exactly what I was looking for: create well formatted notes, save them in the cloud to make them available from everywhere, post note to blog and keep a copy to yourself + it’s cross-platform.

Unfortunately, there are some limitations to this awesome feature which I hope to be resolved in the near future:

  • You need both OneNote and Word for this post to blog feature to work. You’ll have to write your post in OneNote, go to File -> Send to Blog. Word will open up with the content from OneNote. From the Blog Post tab, you hit Publish, enter the credentials for your blog and it’s done. So, since Word is not free, it’s kind of a bummer for most of the people. I really hope Microsoft would integrate this feature directly into OneNote in the future as I don’t see the point in needing Word just to use the post to blog feature;
  • Another limitation is that you cannot add the category, tags, permalink and other WordPress related features. You’ll have to add these details after the post was published. However, I see this limitation as a minor one, as long as the post gets published to the blog well formatted, I’m fine with adding the other details later.

Happy blogging from OneNote!